By Kenneth Paul.
When the reports of an ongoing prison breakout at the Kuje Medium Security Correctional Facility in Abuja began to trickle into the social media space, most Nigerians including myself could not really believe that such a glaring breakout could happen in the federal capital territory. The shocker would later be that the operation lasted over 3 hours with insider’s reports, stating that the insurgents held a 15-minute sermon before even commencing evacuation of their counterparts in the facility.
The President of Nigeria Muhammed Buhari, a retired general and his party had campaigned on stopping the rise of terrorist groups and violent crimes, but with each attack comes a statement expressing his shock and sadness, this latest attack had the president blaming the intelligence outfits for not being able to detect the attack before it played out, sadly no one has been fired for their incompetence, or other numerous attacks of such. The previous one being the gunning down of over 23 people in a church in Owo, Ondo state Nigeria.
While many experts have questioned the rationale behind the decision to house over 300 terrorists in a medium holding facility when there are maximum holding facilities in the country not minding that it meant a facility meant to keep 550 people at the time of the breakout had over 1000 in it, more startling is the fact that they operated with the same modus operandum of previous jailbreaks that had occurred in the southeast that had been blamed on the Indigenous People Of Biafra (I.P.O.B) a claim the group had vehemently denied.
Already ISWAP has taken claim of this latest attack the attack on worshipers in Owo has also been attributed to them and with some high-profile suspects in detention yet to be fully accounted for. It is important to understand that this attack was carried out in Nigeria’s capital city with the highest concentration of security outfits and personnel, yet none of them intervened in the hours-long operation, this has given rise to some conspiracy theories of the breakout as a subtle way of a prisoner exchange between the federal government and the terror group for the kidnapped Abuja Kaduna train victims.
Definitely, security is the first mandate of any government, but when it becomes a reoccurrence that the security architecture of the country is incapable of stemming attacks of such force, it can be said then that such a government is not only incapable of leading Africa’s most populous nation, but certainly insensitive to the yearnings of its citizens to live in a safe and secured environment. Such security lapses are actually expected in a country where nepotism has overtaken merit in appointments to positions within the security departments. With the choking inflation levels, ever-rising prices of commodities, reoccurring fuel ques, massive unemployment and underemployment, months-long student strikes, over-the-bar insecurity levels, and flawed justice systems it is permissible to say that Nigeria is on the fast slide towards becoming a failed nation.
Kenneth Paul is a columnist, writes from Abia State, Nigeria.